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  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1693

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Back home, I've NEVER got in an argument with the barber/hairdresser or been angry with the results, not once. Here, it happens all the time.

I've been going to this hairdresser for a while. Only reason I go to her is that she's 3min walk from my place and the lady who used to cut my hair nicely retired. On a good day, I get a somewhat decent cut.

Yesterday, I only noticed what sh*t she caught up to after getting home and taking a shower. The woman gave me the worst fade I've ever had. She speaks some English and I show her the same picture every damn time, it's not a terribly complicated haircut, just a taper with a side-part.

The common issue I've noticed is that these Korean hairdressers don't seem to understand what 'taper' means... or even fade for that matter. Hair is either short or long, meaning  you'll get a 3 on the back and sides, with 5, 6 or longer on top... there's absolutely no taper or blend from the longer hair on top to the shorter hair on the sides. This hairdresser knows I detest the 2-block style and she likes to proclaim she dislikes it too... but what she usually gives me isn't much different from a damn 2-block.

My buddy lives in the same city and has the same complaints. His wife is Korean and even after she had a 20min argument, in Korean, with the hairdresser he wanted to try out. The hairdresser refused to cut his hair how HE wanted (just a classic crew cut) because she thought it would look 'ugly'.

<sigh> my hair grows pretty quickly and I need a cut every 3-4 weeks and I'm not prepared to drive 90min to a big city to go to the guy who does an awesome job.


Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 09:52:09 pm »
Learn to do it yourself, or even better have your wife do it. It's not that difficult.

Koreans don't 'get' this kind of stuff.


  • JVPrice
  • Expert Waygook

    • 774

    • August 29, 2017, 10:26:13 am
    • Cheongju
Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 07:14:44 am »
As a black man in Korea, I knew it was never going to go the way I wanted. Not once have I ever let a Korean cut my hair. I've been doing it myself since arriving.

I don't doubt that they're skilled, but I don't live in Seoul, and I doubt there's any barber in my area that has much experience with my kind of hair.
The World Ends With You


Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 07:26:59 am »
the first time i got my hair cut at the place i go to now i just let them kinda do whatever they wanted. they gave me a korean looking cut with my hair styled down on my forehead. my girlfriend loved it (thought it was hilarious), but i never wore it that way ever again. the next time i came in they saw how i usually styled it (parted to the side) and they asked if i wanted it like that. since then, they've given me solid hair cuts every time

before, when i was studying abroad in seoul, i was lucky enough to find a guy who loved cutting foreigners' hair (lots of exchange students went to him). the only (small) issue was that he enjoyed styling it in very... interesting ways


Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2019, 07:31:39 am »
I've gone the other way, since I've been here I've always gone to the same hairdresser in Seoul, which involves a two hour trip.  My small city, that I've always lived in, doesn't have anyone I'd trust.  Cheaper, yes, but I'd rather fork out to be able to explain in English without getting a Korean style cut as my hairdresser lived and worked in England for quite a few years, so there aren't any cultural hair cuts.


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 2068

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2019, 07:43:39 am »
i like the haircuts i get here compared to the haircuts i'd usually get in england


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1292

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2019, 07:48:48 am »
The first 2 times, I went with my co-teacher, who explained what I wanted. Since then, I go by myself, and there has been no issues.
The lady doesn't speak any English, I haven't even heard her say hello. I also don't speak Korean.
And I live in the middle of nowhere haha.


  • sbk
  • Veteran

    • 102

    • March 22, 2016, 02:44:47 pm
    • seoul
Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2019, 08:47:22 am »
I found a good guy in the Anyang area - Sanbon to be exact. Speaks english and worked in Australia for a while. He understands western style haircuts. I went to him a few times. He is good.

But other than that i have had mixed results and always opted for simple haircuts to not confuse the hairdresser. 


Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2019, 08:49:58 am »
I have gone to many different places in "Seoul" and here in Jeju. I have never had an issue with the fade part. I had this girl at my usual place for about a yr and a half now and she knew exactly what I wanted and did a great job. Sadly that place closed down and a new hairdresser took over :(.

My biggest problem over the yrs is that it is hard to get them to cut it short enough. Not sure why they don't just buzz it around the sides (some do).


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1480

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2019, 09:09:57 am »
I started cutting my own hair. I figured if Im gonna have a bad haircut Id rather not have to pay for it. Looking back at some pictures I cant believe I walked out of some of those salons without a hat.


  • zola
  • The Legend

    • 2689

    • September 30, 2012, 06:56:11 am
    • Korea
Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2019, 09:10:25 am »
I've had hit and miss experiences. The biggest problem i find is that they really dont want to cut the part at the back of my head, just below the crown, short enough. So too often they leave it all poofy and sticking out back there. Like a semi bowl cut. I've heard Korean guys like to have more volume at the upper back to give shape to the skull. It doesn't suit my head shape though.

I was also refused a number 3 all over last year. It took a good 10 minutes to convince the lady that i could accept looking as ugly as she thought i would with an "army cut". Bought my own clippers after that.
Kpip! - Martin 2018


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1480

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2019, 09:47:47 am »
I've had hit and miss experiences. The biggest problem i find is that they really dont want to cut the part at the back of my head, just below the crown, short enough. So too often they leave it all poofy and sticking out back there. Like a semi bowl cut. I've heard Korean guys like to have more volume at the upper back to give shape to the skull. It doesn't suit my head shape though.

I was also refused a number 3 all over last year. It took a good 10 minutes to convince the lady that i could accept looking as ugly as she thought i would with an "army cut". Bought my own clippers after that.

Yeah that back ducktail spot drives me crazy!!


Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2019, 11:26:05 am »
I found a good guy in the Anyang area - Sanbon to be exact. Speaks english and worked in Australia for a while. He understands western style haircuts. I went to him a few times. He is good.

But other than that i have had mixed results and always opted for simple haircuts to not confuse the hairdresser. 

Can I have the name of this place?

Also this.




  • sbk
  • Veteran

    • 102

    • March 22, 2016, 02:44:47 pm
    • seoul
Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2019, 01:58:17 pm »
I found a good guy in the Anyang area - Sanbon to be exact. Speaks english and worked in Australia for a while. He understands western style haircuts. I went to him a few times. He is good.

But other than that i have had mixed results and always opted for simple haircuts to not confuse the hairdresser. 

Can I have the name of this place?

HI, I sent you a message with his details.


  • grey
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1509

    • April 08, 2011, 04:47:11 am
    • USA
    more
Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2019, 11:40:09 pm »
Of the many haircuts I had, only a few were good. Raising prices 100%, hidden fees, inconsistency, staff rotation, etc. I would treat a barber in Korea like a good contractor. Never let go.
Ko fills half his luggage with instant noodles for his international business travels, a lesson he learned after assuming on his first trip that three packages would suffice for six days. Man, was I wrong. Since then, I always make sure I pack enough.
-AP


Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2019, 07:15:32 am »
Raising prices 100%

When I first went to my hairdresser it cost 25 000 and we're talking over ten years ago, she's always kept my price the same, but for a new customer now it's 30 000 won.  That's how it should be I suppose. 


Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2019, 07:54:51 am »
It's not much better for girls, either. After going to different places in different cities and ALWAYS getting it cut about 4 inches shorter than I asked for, I started cutting my own hair while here. Maybe that can work for you.


  • OnNut81
  • Expert Waygook

    • 781

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2019, 07:58:17 am »
Been going to The Barber Shop in Itaewon for almost 10 years now.  I don't know what I'd do if he retired.  I shudder to think about going back to the drawing board with a new person. 


Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2019, 08:11:02 am »
this thread is making me think either i have terrible hair or i've been very lucky... (though tbh that's how most "negative experience in korea" threads make me feel)


Re: Why is it so hard for a guy to get a decent haircut in Korea?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2019, 08:25:10 am »
I only go to places where I know the hairdressers have spent a lot of time in a western country where they got to practice with a lot of different styles and different types of hair. I'm lucky to have one of those in my town, she spent over 10 years in the States cutting hair.

Before I discovered her, though, I was dropping in to different places in Seoul once every three or four months because every other hairdresser either gave me a cut I did not ask for (because they thought it would look better or because they didn't understand what I actually wanted but didn't want to take the time to figure it out), or they would try to charge me between 3-5x more than I knew for a fact was necessary.

No joke, I once got quoted 120k for a simple layer retouch that would have taken an experienced hairdresser less than 15 minutes to complete, something they are very familiar with here, but I guess I wasn't supposed to know that.